To be really worried there's something more sinister to this? Feel like I've failed DD

(298 Posts)
karenaanna Mon 17-Feb-14 05:12:27

This could be long, sorry. Have NCed. Not sure this is the right place to post but more traffic and want to know if I'm worrying over nothing.

A bit of background- DD is almost 18 and is yet to start her period. I took her to the GP when she was 14 as I was concerned she wasn't showing any real signs of starting to hit puberty and they put it down to she being small for her age combined with the amount of intense exercise she does- at the time she was doing 20ish hours of semi-professional dance school a week and was planning on a dance career, she's now doing 18 hours but no longer wants to dance professionally, although she's still dancing at the same intensity. To this day she's never really had typical teenage mood swings.

Over the last few weeks, since the new year maybe she's put on a lot of weight, she's always been tiny, very ballerina esque and it's almost like she's suddenly gone into the pre puberty baby fat stage but at 17. Her level of physical activity and diet haven't changed. She hasn't said anything but is clearly aware. She's meant to be at a half term dance intensive this week starting today but came and woke me up in the middle of the night- which she hasn't done since she was about 6- in tears with what she described as stomach ache 'down there' (potential sign period is about to start?) and begged me not to make her go today. I sent her back to bed with neurofen and a hot water bottle and told her she'd probably feel better in the morning, but I'm getting an overwhelming vibe from her she doesn't want to go.

She hasn't been herself for the last few weeks, she's last year of Sixth form, so applications for further education. She's had offers from all of her chosen universities back but was inconsolable last week as she's also been rejected from all of the specialist drama schools she applied for- the Ucas application was for another subject and intended as a back up as the specialist drama schools are so competitive. When she sent off the applications she was intending to take up the university place if she didn't get a drama school place, but now it's actually happened she's decided she doesn't want to go to university and wants to reapply for drama school next year. She's at an academic school and so not getting any offers for a chosen course is very unusual, I don't think it's been easy for her seeing all her friends getting excited about university and place offers knowing she's going to be reapplying next year. She's been really low and unhappy since then, again she hasn't said as much, but she clearly hasn't been happy.

Since January she's had fainting episodes/dizzy/temporary lost vision spells, and episodes of what DD describes as severe pins and needles, she's had it a few times in dance classes and had to sit out because she can't physically put weight on her leg. Her dance teacher put it down to stress, I'm starting to wonder if it's all somehow connected and I should have pushed harder for a proper examination before. Do I take her to the walk in centre or is that overreacting?

MrsKent Mon 17-Feb-14 05:17:12

What's her BMI index?

karenaanna Mon 17-Feb-14 05:24:17

Right before Christmas it was 18.7, I don't know what she weighs now, I don't want to ask because I can tell she's upset already and I don't want to make it into a big deal IYSWIM. She's only 5''1 and I would guess she's put on just over a stone maybe, that's very much guessing though.

steff13 Mon 17-Feb-14 05:31:45

A stone is what, 14 lbs? That seems like a lot to put on since January. Has she put it on mostly in her stomach area, or all over?

If the intense pain continues, I'd take her in today, otherwise I'd get her an appointment with her regular doctor as soon as possible.

karenaanna Mon 17-Feb-14 05:37:24

It is Steff13, this is why I'm hesitant to make it into a big deal because she must have noticed sad There has been absolutely no change to her diet or activity levels, which is what's worrying me. Some of it I think can be put down to puberty finally kickstarting, but not all of it.

Could the pain she's describing be period related? I've never had atrocious period pain so don't really have anything to compare it to.

Roshbegosh Mon 17-Feb-14 05:37:49

She needs to see her GP unless her dance teacher is a doctor, really the dance teacher needs a talking to about making guesses so far beyond her knowledge base. Of course it may well be stress but your DD needs an expert opinion. I don't know why you are hesitating.

It is a terribly difficult time in your DDs life when her dreams are not coming to fruition, she will need a lot of support and kindness now the poor love.

karenaanna Mon 17-Feb-14 05:38:15

All over, but more in the stomach area, if that makes sense.

MrsKent Mon 17-Feb-14 05:40:56

Could she be/ have been anorexic?

Littleturkish Mon 17-Feb-14 05:40:57

I would take her to the GP. The lack of mensturating needs to be investigated at 18.

It must be so worrying, but a doctor will hopefully be able to give you some answers.

JRmumma Mon 17-Feb-14 05:43:03

Could she be pregnant?

Agree she needs to go to a doctor. Could be stress and/or puberty but id get it checked out.

karenaanna Mon 17-Feb-14 05:45:25

Definitely not anorexia, until this year she's always been naturally very slim- she would have been perfect ballerina body shape if only she grew a couple more inches. We were fobbed off last time with 'it's the dancing', I really don't want to put her through any more distress if we're just going to be told that again but then apart from anything else the pain and the dizzy/fainting episodes are worrying me.

Lj8893 Mon 17-Feb-14 05:48:32

Is she sexually active? I don't want to alarm you but could she be pregnant? I know she hasn't started her period but my friend fell pregnant at the age of 16 and hadn't had a period either, I'm not sure medically what had happened.

Or she could have pcos? I put on alot of weight very quickly with that.

karenaanna Mon 17-Feb-14 05:49:37

JRmumma obviously I can't say definitely not but I would have thought very, very unlikely- I think you can get pregnant without having had a period?- but she's never had a boyfriend, always been very committed to school and drama/dancing. I honestly don't think she'd risk throwing everything away especially when she knows I got pregnant at 19- I hope, anyway.

karenaanna Mon 17-Feb-14 05:50:35

Sorry- cross posts. Thick question here- what's pcos?

Weegiemum Mon 17-Feb-14 05:55:01

Has her loss of vision been investigated? It could easily be migraine but I know that this should be investigated in teens as it could be Optic Neutitis which is a major marker for ms, which would fit with the severe pins and needles.
It sounds as if your dd needs to see a doc for a detailed medical - there's so much going on here?

Thumbwitch Mon 17-Feb-14 05:55:26

PCOS = polycystic ovary syndrome.

Another question - is there any chance she could be coeliac? Has she had digestive issues at all, especially bowel problems? Low level coeliac can go undiagnosed for years, but her small stature could be an indicator of coeliac disease (not necessarily of course!)

wowfudge Mon 17-Feb-14 05:55:42

Karen it sounds as though your daughter is having a horrible time of things. 18.7 is underweight on the BMI index though and given the amount of exercise she does she is likely to have lean muscle contributing to her weight rather than body fat. Also you are guessing at how much she has put on recently. I am no doctor, but she needs to see one thanks for you both.

PooroldJumbo Mon 17-Feb-14 05:57:35

I think you should take her to see a doctor. She does seem to have a combination of physical and mental issues that may or may not be inter-connected. I doubt very much you've failed your DD. I'm sure you've always done what you thought was best for her, just like you're trying to do now.

Lj8893 Mon 17-Feb-14 05:58:27

I expect her doctor will want to rule out pregnancy before any other tests anyway, but she certainly needs to see her gp.

Thumbwitch Mon 17-Feb-14 06:04:37

Yes, definitely take her to the GP! Too much going on to not take her - write it all down and take her along, but you'll probably have to leave her to talk to the GP on her own, just in case she's doing something she doesn't want you to know about.

TamerB Mon 17-Feb-14 06:50:28

I don't think that you have failed her. She has a very driven personality, is a perfectionist I should think, and can't take failure. I would get her to a doctor to check her out as soon as possible.

sparklyma Mon 17-Feb-14 06:54:33

A strange question but does her neck look 'normal'? Any extra folds of skin on her neck compared to yours/other people?

hackmum Mon 17-Feb-14 07:15:21

OP, that does sound like a worrying combination of things. On its own, not reaching puberty by the age of 18 would be worrying, but the sudden inexplicable weight gain, pins and needles, vision problems etc. sound alarming. I would get her to the GP without delay.

UptheChimney Mon 17-Feb-14 07:31:02

I was a very skinny teen and didn't start menstruating until I was 16, and it was painful. Flatchested & didn't wear a bra till I was 40. But I think at 18, a thorough check up might be needed. She sounds a young 18 at that. But I have a strapping tall DS who's no longer a teen (yikes, when did that happen?), so don't really know the ins & outs of daughters.

But the drama school thing -- I know a bit about that: there are literally thousands of moderately talented, moderately good-looking (and I'm sorry, & I hate it, but that is significant) 18 year old young women auditioning for the likes of LAMDA, RADA, and so on. They just won't get in, unless they are extraordinarily talented.

And I despair of the pressures that suggest they audition -- I don't mean parental! I blame things like The Voice, X Factor & so on, although as your daughter is a dancer she know that "fame" is never overnight, and she knows about the work and repetition needed. Good for her - she is far better equipped for life, because of her dance training, than most 18 year olds. But schools can be particularly bad about advising young people who don't fit the standard academic mould and want to go into the creative arts. So it might help to discuss a Plan B, and Plan C.

It would be better for her to take a year out than to go to any old university course as a very much second choice. It's too much like hard work if your heart's not in it . Those of us who teach at universities really find the students who are there because they (or their parents) feel they should be there, rather than because they want to be there, are the ones more likely to be the unsatisfactory students. If she wants to make the stage a career, her dance training will be a really good foundation -- she needs singing lessons, so she can hold a tune, and them lots of experience in am-dram, youth theatre, fringe theatre, whatever. Problem with amdram & youth theatre is that they both encourage bad habits & precociousness, so also getting some solid experience in fringe and experimental theatre would be good -- getting experience with small/medium contemporary theatre companies who make new theatre seriously would be great for her. She' see that people can make a life through taking art-making seriously!

good luck to you both.

hackmum Mon 17-Feb-14 07:43:31

OP, I just want to say: I can see you're worried about the university/drama school thing and all that stress-related stuff, but it's very easy to assume that the physical problems have a psychological cause when in fact things like pins and needles and vision problems can be the symptoms of something quite serious. Please do get her to a doctor as quickly as you can.

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